African-American Officer standing near the flag of the United States African-American Officer standing near the flag of the United States

Army Officers

Find out what it takes to become an Officer and stand among the fearless leaders of the Army.

DECIDE TO LEAD. EXCEED YOUR EXPECTATIONS.

Uniformed Officer sitting at a desk in front of a notebook Uniformed Officer sitting at a desk in front of a notebook

Succeed as a leader

As a commissioned Officer, you’re not only a leader who guides, problem-solves, and plans for upcoming missions, but you’re also empowered to make decisions that can impact people across the globe.

  • Lead with authority and respect
  • Apply leadership skills, knowledge, and expertise
  • Plan, lead, and conduct real-world missions
  • Train and mentor junior Soldiers

A DECISION TO LEAD CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING

If you want to become an Officer, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

Thanks for reaching out,

Here's What Happens Next

  1. You'll receive an email confirming your request

  2. We'll provide additional information about next steps

  3. You'll work with us to decide whether the Army is right for you

Questions you may have right now

Who will reach out to me?

One of our recruiters will either call or email you to set up time to talk.

Who will reach out to me?

One of our ROTC recruiters will either call or email you to set up time to talk.

What will you ask me?

Our conversation will likely begin with some basic qualifying questions, like your age and education level. From there, the conversation will be about getting to know you and your goals for the future. Expect us to ask about your interests and skills so we can suggest Army jobs that might interest you.

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

How can the Army help me pay for college?

Do I have to go to Basic Training?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

How can the Army help me pay for college?

What is the time commitment for part-time service?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

Can the Army help me pay for medical school?

Do I have to go to Basic Training?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

How do I apply for ROTC scholarships?

How do I join ROTC at the college I want to attend?

Will I be expected to join if I talk to someone?

No. Our goal is to answer your questions and help you decide if the Army is a good option for you. We understand you may not be ready to join yet, or that we may not be the right fit, and that's fine. There's no obligation for talking to us.

Thanks for reaching out,

Here's What Happens Next

  1. You'll receive an email confirming your request

  2. We'll provide additional information about next steps

  3. You'll work with us to decide whether the Army is right for you

Questions you may have right now

Who will reach out to me?

One of our recruiters will either call or email you to set up time to talk.

What will you ask me?

Our conversation will likely begin with some basic qualifying questions, like your age and education level. From there, the conversation will be about getting to know you and your goals for the future. Expect us to ask about your interests and skills so we can suggest Army jobs that might interest you.

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

Do I qualify to join the Army?

Can I join as an Officer?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

Do I qualify to join the Army?

Can I join as an Officer?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

What type of health care jobs are available in the Army?

Can the Army help me pay for medical school?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

Can I join ROTC at my age

Can I join as an Officer?

Will I be expected to join if I talk to someone?

No. Our goal is to answer your questions and help you decide if the Army is a good option for you. We understand you may not be ready to join yet, or that we may not be the right fit, and that's fine. There's no obligation for talking to us.

Thanks for reaching out, .

We admire you for considering such a big career decision at your age. Unfortunately, we're unable to directly reach out to you until you are at least sixteen years old and a junior in high school. However, the following ROTC info is something that may interest you now.

Questions you may have right now

How old do I have to be to serve in the Army full-time?

To become an enlisted Soldier, you must be 17 years old. To become an Army Officer, you must be at least 18 years old and have a college degree obtained either through ROTC, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, or from another college or university program. Learn more about Army Eligibility Requirements and how to receive Officer training while in college.

How can the Army help me pay for college?

There are a variety of options available to help you pursue education with flexibility, such as ROTC programs, the GI Bill, and other programs that help pay for college tuition, trade school, technical school, or trainings. View all of the Education Benefits available to you

How do I apply for ROTC Scholarships?

Army ROTC has several scholarships available for college-bound high school students. Review your options at ROTC Scholarships, or immediately apply by creating an account at my.goarmy.com to get started.

How old do I have to be to serve in the Army part-time?

To become an enlisted Soldier, you must be 17 years old. To become an Army Officer, you must be at least 18 years old and have a college degree obtained either through ROTC, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, or from another college or university program. Learn more about Army Eligibility Requirements and how to receive Officer training while in college.

What are the ways to serve part-time?

You can serve part-time as a Soldier in the Army Reserve or the Army National Guard. By serving part-time, you are able to continue your college education or work a civilian job, while earning an extra paycheck and maintaining many of the benefits of military service.

How can the Army help me pay for college?

There are a variety of options available to help you pursue education with flexibility, such as ROTC programs, the GI Bill, and other programs that help pay for college tuition, trade school, technical school, or trainings. View all of the Education Benefits available to you.

How do I become a health care provider in the Army?

You can serve part-time or full-time as you train in our health care program. Upon graduation of the program, you will enter the Army health care team as a Commissioned Officer.

What types of medical careers are available in the Army?

There are numerous health care careers available through the Army Medical Education Deparment (AMEDD), including physicians, dentists, nurses, veterinarians, and many more. View your career options.

How can the Army help me pay for college?

There are a variety of options available to help you pursue education with flexibility, such as ROTC programs, the GI Bill, and other programs that help pay for college tuition, trade school, technical school, or trainings. View all of the Education Benefits available to you.

What are the benefits of joining ROTC?

ROTC makes it possible to achieve your ambitions. Become a leader and serve your country in one of the nation's top leadership training programs. You can do this while maintaining your college curriculum and earning up to 100% tuition coverage. Upon graduation, you're guaranteed a career as an Army Officer.

How do I prepare to join ROTC?

When you're at least 16 years old and at least a high school junior, you can reach out to us, or even talk to your high school counselor. Together, we'll talk options and decide if ROTC is the right path for you.

Will I become an Officer if I complete ROTC?

Yes. After graduation, you are commissioned as a highly respected second lieutenant in the Army, entrusted with leading other Soldiers.

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    Ways to become a commissioned army officer

    Female Cadet standing with her arms crossed in front of a university building Female Cadet standing with her arms crossed in front of a university building

    Graduate College as an Officer with ROTC

    Earn college scholarships, develop leadership skills, and advance your military career while on campus with the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC).

    • Graduate with a secure career as a commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard
    • Start at the rank of second lieutenant
    • Complete Officer training and other certifications during the summer

    Military academy at West Point graduation Military academy at West Point graduation

    Attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point

    Prepare to lead while earning a degree from the prestigious U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

    • Earn a Bachelor of Science degree in an immersive military environment meant to build leaders of character
    • Receive a fully funded, four-year college education plus an annual stipend of $10,000+
    • Enter the Army as a distinguished member of the military community
    • Applicants must request nomination from a member of the United States Congress

    Three female Soldiers in combat uniform Three female Soldiers in combat uniform

    Learn to Lead in Officer Candidate School

    Officer Candidate School is an intensive program designed for enlisted Soldiers and civilians with college degrees to earn a commission to become an Officer.

    • Join the Army’s 12-week Officer training program
    • Utilize your undergraduate degree to advance in rank
    • Refine your leadership skills and gain the opportunity to command Soldiers

    Female Army Surgeon viewing images before performing a surgery Female Army Surgeon viewing images before performing a surgery

    Earn a Direct Commission

    Choose to apply your knowledge and skill to a career with meaning. A direct commission appoints civilians with professional experience directly to an Officer rank.

    • Utilize your professional expertise to become a leader in the Army
    • Join a mission with a purpose
    • Work in state-of-the-art facilities around the world

    Female Soldier training a male Soldier in front of two computer monitors Female Soldier training a male Soldier in front of two computer monitors

    Become an Expert in Your Field as a Warrant Officer

    Enlisted Soldiers demonstrating unparalleled technical skills can earn a place in Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS), where they'll achieve the rank of Warrant Officer and serve as tactical experts and advisors for strategic missions.

    • Warrant Officers help shape policy and advise on specialized missions
    • Enlisted Soldiers can be recruited to apply to the school after two years of service
    • Candidates will deepen their skills in their specialty and prepare to instruct and advise others

    Advance in Rank as an Officer

    Your rank as a commissioned Officer indicates not only your pay grade, but also the amount of responsibility you hold.

    Second Lieutenant to Major

    Start by leading platoon-sized units of 16 to 44 Soldiers in entry-level leadership roles, working your way up to being responsible for as many as 1,000 Soldiers.

    • Second lieutenant
    • First lieutenant
    • Captain
    • Major

    Lieutenant Colonel to Major General

    Advance in rank to lead battalion and brigade-sized units of anywhere between 300 and 3,200 Soldiers, to eventually lead division-sized units of 10,000 to 16,000 Soldiers.


    • Lieutenant colonel
    • Colonel
    • Brigadier general
    • Major general

    Female Officer standing in front of a green background Female Officer standing in front of a green background

    Your Opportunity for Growth Continues Beyond Your Army Service

    When you become an Officer in the Army, your opportunity for growth doesn't stop. You'll establish a fulfilling lifelong career while still having many opportunities for advancement and training. Becoming an Officer will also help you if you decide to enter the civilian work force, as employers place a high value on workers who can lead others in stressful situations.

    Common Questions About Army Officers

    How long does it take to become an Officer?

    It depends on which path you choose. If you choose to become an Officer through the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) or the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, you'll become an Officer after completing four years of college. Through Officer Candidate School (OCS), you're commissioned as an Army second lieutenant after completing a brief enlistment period and the 12-week course, but you'll still need to earn a four-year degree from an accredited university.

    If you join through direct commission, you're automatically an Officer when you enter the Army, but your commission may still be dependent upon completion of specific courses and certifications related to your specialty.

    What is the salary like for Army Officers? Are there additional benefits?

    Army Officer salaries are generally comparable with mid- to senior-level corporate executives. However, when you consider additional benefits like free health care for full-time Soldiers, as well as allowances for housing and food, opportunities to get an advanced degree without incurring debt, 30 days paid leave every year, and more financial benefits, the Army is more competitive than similar civilian careers.

    Do I need a college degree to become an Army Officer?

    Yes, the one basic requirement to become an Officer is that you must have a bachelor’s degree—not necessarily at the start of the process, but by the time you’re commissioned as an Officer. If you don’t have a degree yet, the Green to Gold program is a way for enlisted Soldiers to earn a commission as an Army Officer after completing a bachelor’s degree or a two-year graduate degree.